Making Greeting Cards | Evan Neidich | Skillshare
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12 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Greeting Card Intro2

    • 2. Design Cycle

    • 3. Inspiration

    • 4. Applying the Design Cycle

    • 5. Scanning

    • 6. Digitally Editing Files

    • 7. Making it Print Ready

    • 8. Printing

    • 9. Packaging

    • 10. Assignment 1

    • 11. Assignment 2

    • 12. ThankYou

12 students are watching this class

About This Class

In this class you will learn how to create a greeting card from start to finish!

The Design Cycle

  • Inquiry & Analysis
  • Developing Ideas
  • Creating the Product
  • Evaluating The product

Finding Inspiration

  • Finding inspiration in your unique interests
  • Finding your voice

The Design Cycle In Action : Alphabet Project Design

  • Inquiry & Analysis: Pinterest Research
  • Developing Ideas:  Sketching Small
  • Creating the Product:  Studio Space

Creating Artwork

  • Awareness of card dimensions
  • Choose your medium(s)


  • Resolution
  • File Types

Digital Image Editing

  • Photoshop
  • Pixlr

Preparing Print Files

  • Margins/ Borderless
  • Logo & Website

Getting High Quality Prints

  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Printer Profiles


  • Options

Two Assignments to help you get started!


There are a lot of great suppliers out there so keep an open mind and ask around. I happen to really love the suppliers I use so I'm always happy to recommend them to other artists.

For Paper:
Red River paper
I use 60 lb polar matte paper generally but you can also get a sampling of their different papers and see what you like best. They have downloadable printer profiles on their website with directions on how to use them.

For Packaging Supplies and Envelopes:
Danco Eco-Friendly Packaging Products
They are awesome and very environmentally conscious. Unfortunately they had a factory fire recently and have been closed for the past few weeks. But I just got word that they will be reopening soon.

Other options (though not completely eco friendly) include:

Warm wishes,



1. Greeting Card Intro2: no barking. Hi, my name is Evan Nuytinck. I'm an artist and illustrator. I started my business Fox and Crow a few years ago because I realized that greeting cards combined my love illustration and my love kindness. So when you give someone a beautiful car that you picked out for them in a hand written note, it makes them feel really loved and special. And that's a really cool thing to be a part of aside. Develop my business. It's been really important for me to have an in depth understanding of every aspect of production, actually, more than an in depth understanding. I do every aspect of production from start coming up with ideas, drawing to finishing pieces, scanning them in, editing them, digitally, getting them front, ready, printing them myself, packaging them myself so I can show you how to create greeting cards from very start 2. Design Cycle: we owe you. Just introduce the design cycle now, this particular wording I got from the curriculum of a design course that I talked. But the process is very similar to what designers in a variety of fields used to organize their workflow. So the first stage of design cycle is enquiring and analysing their different components to enquiring in analyzing the first and foremost is looking into existing products. So what's out there? If you wanted to make a birthday card, you'd want to know what was, uh, what was existing and what was on the market Already. Another component of enquiring analyzing is minding your inspiration. So figuring out what you want to make work about and I'll talk more about that in the inspiration section of this course, another component is developing skills. So if you are a graphic artist, worked primarily digitally, but you really want to do and ink painting Siris of greeting cards, then that's gonna happen here to where you need to do additional training to make sure you can create the work you want to create. Other piece to enquiring and analyzing is, of course, the announces to inquire. I often use Pinterest. I'll make pinched Pinterest boards of whatever the kind of card that I want to make is, and I'll make another Pinterest board about whatever I want to inspire that car. So when I'm analyzing, I'm looking at all of that and putting it together analyzes where you really figure out what makes your work your work by by focusing on what you're attracted and what you're repelled by. So if I'm looking at the Pinterest board of the birthday cards and I'm noticing, I'm really attracted to these Chris designs where there's a lot of white and minimal artwork, that's the kind of thing that I may pursue in the next phase. The design cycle. In my sketching, if I'm noticing I really like it's cards a full color full bleed, then I'm gonna pay attention to that. So announced it's really about paying attention and being aware of what you like and what you don't like. The second stage of design cycle is developing ideas phase, and that is essentially the sketching stage. So what kind of sketches do we need to do? Um, if I'm making sketches for ex client, then they need to be very clear they need to communicate to someone else. They may even need to have colors included detail as well. Aziz labels. Perhaps if I'm sketching something for myself just to get my ideas down, I'm gonna show you an example in my sketchbook from a series that I'm currently working on an alphabet. Siri's. So this is for the letter C. And back in the inquiry and analysis days, I wrote down a bunch of notes from what I researched. Then I did these sketches, so these sketches communicate very clearly to me, but would not be something that I would show to a client on. Ultimately, these sketches resulted in this final piece. The question at the end of the developing ideas phase is which sketch do I go forward with ? This is a tricky one, something I find really effective when I'm stuck and there's not a clear answer is to use my instagram so I might post a four picture of four different designs that I've done getting me back from. People have chosen to follow my work. He's a really up a way for me to know the most successful direction to take. I'm often surprised if I think it's for sure design one. Sometimes every single answer will be designed for, and I necessarily need to take that into consideration. Also asking other artists or designers if you have a studio made if you have a friend, if you have a family member who really understands your aesthetic and has a good design sense, that's a great person to ask. The third stage of the design cycle is called creating the Solution, and it's exactly what it sounds like. It's just making your final piece. So to be successful in cleaning solution, you need whatever materials you're creating with you need whatever resource is are necessary to draft a professional product. So the example that I gave the sketches with C is for cat, and this was the final solution I got to. The fourth stage of the design cycle is called evaluating, and in evaluating you are looking at your work, taking a step back and using your own judgment in the evaluating page. It's also really useful to get in touch with your either ideal client or target audience for your piece to make sure it really works. For example, if I was making a graduation card. It would be a really great idea at this point to get in touch with someone who has a child or grandchild graduating on and get their feedback on my card. What works, what improvements could be made? Is it something they would purchase? If it's all Yes, thank you can go aboard with it. If there's some tweaks that needs to be made, then you kind of go around the design cycle again to get your designed where you really want it to be, so that includes the introduction to our design cycle. But before we move on, I just want to point out an important point. Design cycle. Arrows go in both directions. You might be using your evaluating skills during your in Cree and analysis. No what you might be considering who your target audiences and having a conversation with them about your ideas. You might also be doing that during developing ideas. Face. You are really using your information from enquiring analyzing and, of course, your sketches and developing ideas face to create your solution. And there's many other directions that the design cycle can go in. So it's a really useful tool in your process 3. Inspiration: When we think of inspiration, we often think of staring at a blank page on, and I like to think about interests. I'm from the educational perspective of Montessori, so interest arises from within. And when we really look within and use our own interests as inspiration, we come up with a unique work that is exciting for us to dio. And, um, there's this great quote from here from the comedian Camille Non Johnny. And he says, I found that the common humanity of people is the most relatable thing. And even if your stories are very specific about a different place, if you have a relatable core of humanity, people will go along with it. In that context, he's talking about stand up comedy. In our context, we're talking about greeting cards, but the idea still applies. So if you follow your interests and get really specific with those on and use that in your design work, it will be relatable to many people. So, um, if your interest is fine art, if your interest is typography, if your interest is comedy, if your interest is animals, if your interest is travel, go with that. Go with that and you're just can evolve to, you know, if you see something that inspires you, that's that's a spontaneous interested. You should go with that and follow it and figure out how you can use that and bring it back in to create work in this context. 4. Applying the Design Cycle: Now they've learned about design cycle. It's time to see it in action. Currently, I'm working on an outfit project which I showed you a little bit of before. Here are a couple of the letters I've done. I just have them on the same paper, Teoh, To conserve paper. You saw my cat as well. The next letter on doing is a B. So I'm gonna take you through the design cycle. While I designed my next letter, I've mentioned that I find interest a really helpful tool being fired. An analyst that is unable to create board and collect images. Yeah, you are creating an alphabet. Siri's help organize my images. Then I searched for bears and I discovered that there's like to scratch their backs on things. I thought that was really cool. Wanted that in my final image. So I search specifically for that and a lot of images. Then I researched different kinds of flowers that start with B, and I decided that begonias were really cool. So I found some images of those to help me out. Doing sketches. Small will save you time and paper. Uh, unless you are just much more comfortable drawing bigger and you need your sketches to be more descriptive. That's also great option for me on organizationally if I have Ah, water product. Having everything in a little book makes the most sense. Um, and drawing small makes most sense because if I'm drawing bigger, I'm gonna want to do a more final looking piece. So this kind of keeps me from getting too precious with my With my planning, my research. I found that bears often go and scratch their backs against trees to kind of communicate with each other. I think they scratch their backs on, and then they can go around and sniff and learn about each other by sniffing trees. So I sort of like the idea of the bear scratching its back against the B. Now, what else could I dio? I also learned that bears are really good climbers, so I could have the bear. Maybe head will years now climbing up the B. And then the begonia is more going up down here, the side. So there's some balance and the composition bears on the right. Flowers are on. So I'm speeding up my sketching here a little bit and you can see that I'm doing another version of the bear scratch. It's back in a different space in the B, so I have some options to consider. I'm also doing another option where the bear is climbing, but I'm name up really high. On my last year, I thought about how bears hibernate and I put sleeping. So now that you've developed a variety of sketches on I five here, it's time. Teoh. Figure out which one you want to go forward with. Now, Seeking advice from others is a great way to go about this, because sometimes we get really attached to a particular design, even if it's not necessarily the right one to go forward with. And it's always important to remember that if I really love it, I'm really torm between the Sleeping bear and the scratching bear. I have this in a sketchbook that I can always go back to, and if I choose one, I could always use the composition. You know, the other composition for another, like I could do on. I know I want to do a fox for the letter F so I could do a cold up sleeping fox if I don't end up doing it for the bear. So it's this design work. Even if you don't use it all, it can help you later. So which one am I going to choose? I think I really love the idea of the bear scratching You're back. So I'm gonna do either design one or designed three. So this one for this one now that we've developed our ideas were ready to create the solution. I'm going to show you my home studio space so you can see what my processes here is. My desk. There's a lot of monitors there because my desk is here. And then my husband and animator on his desk is back there. So on this is also our living room space. Their dog, Winnie Onda. We found a way to make it work. To have our studio space at home. Yes. So, getting to the creation, here's all you need. You need a flat space toe work. You need your materials. I work with wash paints. I have my palate washes really great, because if I re wet it, I'll be able to use it again. So I already have all these great premixed colors that I can use. And then I also end up wasting less pain, which is always good. I, you know, by my con pens, my brushes. I like to use a mechanical pencil, a little jar for my water. My erasers have my my book with my sketches. I have I found this This picture which I want to inspire my illustration also, and we'll get to scanning later. But if I'm doing a project where I'm scanning, I don't try to make the peace, you know, final beautiful piece. Unless I also want to sell the original, which I don't intend to It this. So, yes, This is my desk on this next year. Space. And I'm gonna do a time lapse video of the creation of RB B for Bear and Begoun. 5. Scanning: So now that we've finished our artwork, it's time to scan. It really is worth your while to scan your artwork rather than take photos of it. You're gonna have a much, much higher resolution image where the color scanning is just better all around. If you don't have a scanner, you can always go to a print shop or, you know, King goes even and pay to have your work scan. It really is worth it. You ready to invest in a scanner or you have one already. It's important to always keep your scanner bed clean so you could always edit out things like dust or hairs or whatever in digital editing. But this takes two seconds, so it's kind of just respectful of your own time later on to take a moment and clean the scanner. Better off. Now I look at with the stand. I actually got it used and with a lot of equipment to woman's, it's the highest resolution possible to get. It's really worth it to do that. The scanner is a Epson perfection The 500 photo, and I actually got it from an artist whose basement flooded during Hurricane Sandy is leaving New York and getting rid of a bunch of equipment. So he gave it to me for free because it had lost the cord. The power board, which I just bought in one online. So keep your eye out for equipment like that is always a really smart way to start your business up. We're gonna open absence, scan their scanning program Uh, the last image scanned in there. So we're going to get you now to see what's on the bed. I want to go up. Keep it. Reflected surface document people and 48 color you want. Really? Keep it. I'm going to keep as much information. Just possible. Which is why we wanted at 300 dp. I started dots per inch big, big. We're gonna keep an original. There's other options. But since we're going to digitally at it, we're not gonna worry so much about, you know, removing dust scanning process. Okay, now we're using the selector. Just select the information that we need. So we don't have to edit more out later and we are ready to hit scan. Do you want to try to save it under a name that will easily searchable. So he's for fair scan. I'm gonna skin as a tip. Very high resolution image space for it. So that's fine. You need to work smaller. You could use a high resolution. James Paige. Great to meet are all scan. 6. Digitally Editing Files: it's now time to edit our image digitally. You can use photo shop. That's what I'll be using in this demonstration. But Photoshopped costs money if you'd like. You can also use a program online called Pixel er. There's other programs as well. Pick Slur is really similar to photo shop, so this demonstration could help you if you're using pick slur. There's also tons of information about pick slur on that can help you use it. Digital. Everything is really important because it will make your image look crisp and professional . Okay, so here we are now on my laptop, we're going to the image and opening it in photo shop. First thing you want to do, like all of the background rename its It's not blocked. Edit it. Then we're gonna want to rotate the image. I knew it 90 degrees counterclockwise, and now we're gonna want to start taking out background. Even though it looks white, it is not here. We're using the magic wand Tool Command WR sought up in the left where I selected it or selecting out the big areas of white. We can use Zoom Tool Command Z or a little My last to really get in there and when we try a magic wand tool for the smaller parts doesn't totally work. So here we're trying the lasso tool on and consists, like the Polygon all last Last tool. You're to go up against areas. There's other options. Um, magnetic lasso tool and the regular last tool, which right here, you can see, is a little harder to control. So I really like the Donald, uh, to get out all of the areas I need to get out. And as you can see them or new zoom in, the more you realize you need to edit out. So don't be afraid of releasing in and take your time. Usual editing can be time consuming, but it's work that you are using the or exert mint e selection on the side. Sometimes that is easy. There's a lot of different ways to do it. Todo visible areas, shoes. What works Passive razor to get big areas. He's in the matter. One twenties in the polygonal lasso lasso tool. It's not wanted here areas. I'm really looking clothes using me, raised her there, all those little details. We'll make a difference in your final like. So here means McCauley got a lot of tools, and it looks like I may be missed in area right here. So I'm gonna use the clone stamp by selected hit option holding an auction over clean option and then drawing it draws repeats. What? I've just done told this same over here like that yet right there. So I just repeated it round and have to go in and read it. I'm creating a new layer. Now. I'm calling background, and I'm gonna fill with White using a marquee tool here. Feeling it? I'm gonna move that layer, but meat off the side there Shut up for a moment so I can erase some other things that I saw. I created that white background layer just so I can see what it will look like. Uh, you know, when I printed on the white paper going on a racing little areas, I'm using guy someone beside and pulling the guides over to figure out I really like that line on the B two b straight. So I by using that guide, I realize not quite straight. Some rotating it a bit, working just a big here to sort of Line it up and then I'm making and I'm using another guy dragged or rewards on the side to check yours. And I'm seeing that there's some or close. So when he does my polygon a last tool and go up against that ruler, which is straight down to get rid of the areas I don't want and sort of even that out since it was painted with Hankins, it's not meant to look perfect, but I wanted to look, you know, a little bit more risk. Don't go. Okay? My turn up White on Just checking. Getting rid of the guy tools way. Have it. I'm gonna see the file now. Saving it in a file will be able to find it. That's very important. Be surprised. Mary. That's 7. Making it Print Ready: Now that we've digitally edited our piece, it's time to make it print running. So we need to figure out what size card stock we're printing on. I'm gonna use this Red River paper. The paper is nine by 6.25 into specs right on the box, and that's before it's cool. It's action. Let me show you this. This paper is pre scored so that I can just fold it once it's printed. So once it's folded, it's actually four by 4.5 by 6.25 because it fold in half. But my digital file will need to be that full way so I can create a space for the logo on my website if I like on the back. So here we are, my laptop opening Photoshopped. We're going to create a new file, but I want to name it in a way that's clear and I'll find easily leader. My organization is important. Switching pixels two inches and leading nine by 6.5 Resolution 300 her inch When keep that high resolution Now on the poor guy right in the center. So going to new guys new guy and I'm going to write 50% for a vertical guide. That way I'll have a line straight in the middle. Exactly. With scoring of my card. It's so on the right side is world my card. I'm gonna open that now. My image for the card opened the barrel over there into the right side. Please sit you just the size generally Wanna have white space on this? Go now. I'm going. Teoh my logo in on the left side. Believe back. So there is my low Bowman of Shrink it down. I don't want to overpower But I wanted to be clear that it's my work too. If someone purchased this is somewhere and they like or they can always find me. I'm putting my website ends. They know where to find me adjusting the color of it number that's fun. Trying out some different bonds. See, don't like that one. There we go. So making the size appropriate air? No. Okay. Now, to make sure that lives in the right spot I grabbed a guy the roller on the left by clicking and dragging it over. And now I'm moving my logo and my websites that it's centered on that line. I'm gonna do the same with me now and make sure there's about similar margins on all sides . Happened there by grabbing guides from the rulers walking them. Let's see. I think I'll move to be down a little bit and there's this. Our file is ready to print. 8. Printing: So this is my lovely printer saying Hello. I highly recommend this printer. It's the Cannon Pro 100 eats really, reasonably priced under $400 it's very easy to use is the Red River paper from before? Have a side that is up and you open it. Deciding one of print. Open our printer paper. So I'm here with my husband, Rob to talk about printer profiles for a moment. Rob, help me solve a lot of problems When I first got my printers and printer profiles were the key. So okay, so print profiles are essentially files that tell your computer what paper and what printer you're using. So for any pay, any paper that's worth printing on, um, you'll be you should easily be able to find profiles online on the website. Usually the if it comes with like a sleeve, it should say where it is for Red River paper specifically on their website, and they have then organized, not realized by printer. So all the major prayer manufacturers absent Canada all them it should have profiles, and it might even happen for specific printers within them. I'm pretty sure the pro 100 has its own set of program. Yeah, and then for Red River. Specifically, remember, there's one called Photo Man. Yeah, which is like most of the paper that she prints on. So we use that one. But it's important. It's important to get high quality printer paper that has a profile for your printer. When we first started out, we'd I've gotten some paper, jam, paper and first a great place for, like, decorative Phantom. But it's not really printer. Fantastic. Exactly. I called. Then I called their headquarters, tried to got no idea what I don't do a profile old minutely the prince. I had to buy all new paper that job because the prince just It's the quality difference when you have appropriate profiles and communication is going on here in the printer, in the paper every day. It's so it'll look so blurry and you look at it. Wonder why doesn't look right. But if you get the right printer profile e mean it's such a difference. Absolutely. Yeah. Okay, so thank you so much. So now we're ready to print open our print window and you have to turn it horizontal sighs around up there with our print settings and find the correct size. There will be a lot of fun sized, always managed custom sizes. I really creative. 6.5 by nine Good quality in media and go to the mat photo paper and change my crippling the high horse back your carpet One that looks better in the I think there. So we already selected the mat photo paper. Can a pro 100 printer profile, uh, that rob and I have just discussed were ready to print. 9. Packaging: So here is our print, and this summer we're going into the evaluating days of design cycle. So when it's printed, you can look really closely and see if there's any issues that you want to fix before you do. Ah, larger print. If you are not using your own printer and you are going and having it professionally done, you I always need to see a proof for you proved a large print job. Any any reasonable printer will do that for you. So, um, now that our card is printed that the pre score paper, I can fold it and given an envelope. So I like to use recycled paper envelopes and buying them in bulk with buying them by the thousands will save a lot of money. But if you're starting off, you're gonna want to try 20. And I'm switching from using all different color envelopes. Teoh picking one color envelope to you across the board. It makes it easier to order in bulk. So this one here is a craft paper envelope, and it goes really nicely with our bare. Now the packaging are hards. Unfortunately, the best option that I know of our plastic sleeves on. That's not great for the environment. There are plant based ones that are made that are great. But if you were selling at any kind of craft fair outdoor venue, they can't get wet from my experience. So depending on what your uses, you may need to use plastic. Or you can use the plant based plastic. So the way these work usable celo and globe's is you put your heart and with the envelope there's a little peel off and then you fold it over and there you have it ready for sale. Now, if you'd like Teoh sell your cards, you know, not just one at a time. You can also get plastic containers like these where you could do, you know, multiple cards and multiple and blows all in one. 10. Assignment 1: it's the first assignment is to create a greeting card that really fits in with a category an existing category in greeting cards. A big one is birthday cards, so I'll show you a couple of examples. This is a birthday card. I did. It's bunch of animals and party hats dancing in the forest. This is another example of a birthday card is inspired by manatees in my backyard. I need to Florida, and there's a bay in my backyard with dolphins and manatees. And, um so there you can see how I put my own interest in my own spin on something that's a really classical category. So birthday cards. This is Front Mother's Day collection I did of Mama and Baby Animals. So Mother's Day is a big holiday for cards as well, another from that collections Mama and baby snuggling. Uh, this is from this is a wedding card and says, Well, reflect in there. It says the good stuff. It's a little fuck planning another fox to open the champagne. So again, a classical category for cards weddings. But I know my own spin on this is from a Valentine's Day. This Valentine's Day card the reflection. There we go. So it's all the different animals in different layers in love. So Valentine's Day is also obviously a really big holiday for carts. Those are examples of classical categories, so pick a category. You can go to a local stationery shop and check out the different categories that they have shoes one within that and go for your through your entire design cycle from in Korean analysis, checking out other cards and choose birthday cards. Looking at a variety of birthday cards to get inspiration, I'm figuring out what's been you want to put on it and then going through developing ideas , doing sketches on creating a solution and then actually making the final card. So that's your first assignment, and I can't wait to see what you come up with. 11. Assignment 2: Your second assignment is to create a greeting card that's really outside of the box that doesn't fit into a category that is already existing are very common in a stationery store . So you can think of an event that maybe isn't celebrated by cards usually or that doesn't have a lot of cards for it. Or you can just focus on making a piece of art that people could use for anything. So, for example, I thought about how sometimes people go on brand new adventures or start a new chapter of their life, take a big risk and that I'd like to make a card for that. So I need this card, which is It's an adventure. Its a little fox going on all sorts of different adventures all around the world. So an example. Let's see. Another example is this definitely already exist off. It's already exists, but what I was showing you guys before, so something is a little more personal for individuals. If you know your first or last name is a B. So a card just for that, for each letter that this is another thing where I just these are one of my best sellers, and I couldn't tell you why I made the card because I thought the fund do hybrid creatures on a draft mermaid and I have a whole series of these and this did not start from you saying, Oh, this is a card for people who feel like you know, they're two different things in one. It's just on image that I thought was cool, and it's one of my best selling cards. Another thing you could start with is finding a quote. And this one is from Mr Rogers. So about on the back, and did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind? That could be a cool way to find inspiration for reading card. So this is a very, very open assignment, and I'm really excited to see the ways the different ructions you take it in 12. ThankYou: Thank you so much for taking my beating hard class. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. You can find me on social media. My instagram is Evan Nuytinck. I'll write it right there and I'd love to hear from you and see your work. Thanks so much.